You woke up at 7 am today. Perhaps snoozed a couple times. Took a quick shower. Had a quick breakfast. Walked down to the bus station (or the subway) quickly so that you wouldn’t be late. And after spending what felt like immeasurable hours on the commute, you arrived just on time to your office job. It’s already 9 am, and you send an e-mail to a person your company hired for doing something, like translating a document or creating a video. And they reply: “Hi! Just woke up, I will send you the documents in 10-15 minutes.”
I always thought a freelancer looked more happy, energetic, and generally just alive. I used to see people working at a cafe, or even a bar and I looked at them with a bit of envy. That was when I had an office job. For the past five years, I have been working as a freelancer and I can say I was right to be jealous. I’ve written a tiny scenario above, but we all know that this is real. The important is what you do after you get that reply. Do you start googling terms to learn about how to start freelancing or you just want to learn what a freelancer is? Well then, let me explain it to you.
I will not act as a dictionary here. I know you’re looking for more than a description for a freelancer. But still, this question is very simple to answer and so I’ll keep it short.
A freelancer is a professional who is not legally attached to a company for the long-term, whose rights are not covered by an employer, and who does not have to stay put in a specific location. A freelancer does not have health insurance provided by an employer. Most freelancers can not know when their next payment will be, because being a freelancer means always facing the risk of not getting any gigs.
What Does A Freelancer Do?
A freelancer has lots of different options thanks to the developments in technology and the changing economic structures. Most freelance jobs are done with the help of a computer, which allows the freelancer to work location-independent.
Below is a list of jobs that can be done as a freelancer:
- Software developer
- Graphic/UX Designer
- Translator (that’s me)
- Marketing manager
- Social media manager
- Fitness trainer
This is just a sliver of the full scope. If you evaluate your skills, market needs, and find the right way to promote your services, you can find the right job for yourself.
As a freelancer, whatever the service you may offer, you can either work directly with clients or through agencies. The most important part of being a freelancer is having perfect time-management skills, and the ability to be self-sufficient. When you are a contracted employee, you have more chances for teamwork. But when you’re a freelancer, you are your own marketer, designer, social media manager, public relations manager, etc.
To be able to find freelance gigs, you would need to promote your services to the right people at the right time, and marketing would take a great part of your time. Apart from your actual job, you would spend time communicating with clients, solve your own technical problems, prepare your own food. Even if you are great at what you do, it would be quite difficult to find new clients when you don’t have any marketing skills. So, most freelancers invest their energy in learning new skills to become an all-around person.